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Vintage Fire Trucks, Firefighting Memorabilia Up for Bid in Museum Liquidation

by WorthPoint Staff (08/23/09).

This 1941 Chevrolet Pirsch Pumper is among the 132 lots from the Kids Firehouse Museum of Largo, Fla., that will be sold at auction in a liquidation sale on Sept. 15, 2009

This 1941 Chevrolet Pirsch Pumper is among the 132 lots from the Kids Firehouse Museum of Largo, Fla., that will be sold at auction in a liquidation sale on Sept. 15, 2009

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. – A five-alarm call has gone out to all firefighting enthusiasts and collectors as the entire contents of the Kids Firehouse Museum in Largo, Fla., including an 1875 hand-drawn water cannon with hose reel and a 1965 Ford 1,000-gallon pumper truck, as well as vintage firefighting memorabilia, will go on the block.

Bay Area Auction Services will conduct the no-reserve sale of 132 lots on Sept. 15, 2009.

This hand-drawn water cannon (circa 1875), which came from the Boston Fire                            Department, will be sold as part of the Kids Firehouse Museum auction.

This hand-drawn water cannon (circa 1875), which came from the Boston Fire Department, will be sold as part of the Kids Firehouse Museum auction.

The 9,000-square-foot Kids Firehouse Museum was established in 1994 with the goal of teaching young children the basics of fire safety and prevention in an age-appropriate and fun setting, with donations benefiting the “Missing Children’s Awareness Foundation.” Over the years the museum has acquired an impressive array of firefighting equipment and accessories. The oldest piece of firefighting equipment in the sale is an 1875 hand-drawn water cannon with hose reel and nozzle from the Boston Fire Department. The oldest truck up for sale is a 1924 American La France Pumper with original ladders and toolbox. This chain-driven venerable old fire horse last saw service in the Palmetto (Fla.) Fire Department.

Other pieces of major equipment certain to draw interest includes a 1941 Pirsch Pumper made by Chevrolet (which has the original wooden ladders and 113,000 brave miles), a 1950 American International L-185 that had been discovered sitting in a field in northern Florida, and a 1951 Seagrave 400B-750 Pumper that comes with a 150 foot brush fire hose and foam firefighting unit along with it dual-ignition, 12-cylinder power plant.

The oldest engine in the sale is this 1924 American la France pumper.

The oldest engine in the sale is this 1924 American la France pumper.

A 1954 American La France hook and ladder truck, last used by the Indian Rocks (Fla.) Fire Department, has been modified for use as workhorse capable of towing any of the other trucks in the museum. Another truck in the sale is a 1956 Ford Big Job F-750 Pumper that served double-duty as both a pumper and a hook and ladder. It is fitted with four types of hoses, suction with strainer, a 100-foot reel hose, a 100-foot fire hose, a 50-foot hydrant hose and a Hale pump.

Among the other notables in the sale:

• A 1956 Pirsch Pumper that can pump 1,000 gallons a minute, and its 33,000 miles was powered by a 12-cylinder motor.
• A 1958 American La France Pumper that was one of the first to have an enclosed cab for the firemen’s safety while en route.
• A 1958 Seagrave Bullet Nose Hook & Ladder that is the biggest truck in the museum and requires two drivers to maneuver in city streets.
• A 1966 Ford 750 BIS Tub Pumper.

The biggest truck in the sale is this 1958 Seagrave Hook & Ladder engine.

The biggest truck in the sale is this 1958 Seagrave Hook & Ladder engine.

Other items in the sale inventory (many vintage) include an Atlas Life saving Jump net, a large variety of metal and cast fire truck toys, vintage fire hats, fire suits, hydrants and a large selection of vintage equipment including nozzles, alarm pulls, bells, telegraph station, patches, pins and belt buckles.

The sale will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 15, and the trucks and select items of the memorabilia will be available for live online bidding. For more information about the Kids Firehouse Museum sale, visit the Bay Area Auction services Web site, email bayareaauction@verizon.net or call (727) 548-9303 or (800) 452-3905.

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